The Science Behind the Corvette Stingray


The Science Behind the Corvette Stingray

Visitors to the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September probably came away impressed with the ingenuity behind the new Corvette Stingray.

Chevy’s seventh-generation Corvette was invited to the prestigious show because of its advancements in manufacturing and use of cutting-edge materials.

If you’re familiar with the Stingray, you already know that Tadge Juechter and crew came up with some pretty exotic ideas to make it one of the best sports cars in the world.

For instance, the new aluminum frame manages to save weight (99 pounds, to be exact) while increasing stiffness (by 57 percent) to improve handling and allow construction of a convertible that doesn’t require structural reinforcement.

Interestingly, the Stingray’s frame is made up of five different aluminum segments, each constructed in different ways that allowed engineers to shave off as much weight as possible. A new precision welding process keeps tolerances within one-thousandth of an inch.

Carbon fiber also gets extensive use on the Stingray, including the hood on all models and the roof panel on the coupe. Another advanced composite material, a light density sheet molding compound, is used on the front fenders, doors, rear quarter panels, and rear hatch/trunk.

You may remember that starting with the C5, the floorpan was made of an aluminum/balsa sandwich to cut weight, but engineers have replaced that on the C7 with a carbon nano-composite that is even lighter and adds to the structural rigidity.

You’ll also find magnesium seat frames on the Stingray, and we think the unique shape memory alloy that replaces the hatch vent actuator is one of the coolest things about the new car.

All in all, visitors to ITMS, the world’s second largest show of its kind, came away impressed with Chevy’s latest creation, no doubt.


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